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January 2018

Moving Forward


Moving forward and moving on are two very different things.  It is not uncommon to hear them used interchangeably by others who have not grieved the loss of a great love.  Whether the loss was a child, a spouse, a best friend, etc., moving on is not an option for many who grieve.  There isn't even a goal of moving on, to forget or leave their loved one in the past.  The goal instead is simply to figure out how to keep moving forward, carrying their love in their hearts along with their pain, in a world that will never be the same, as a person who is no longer the same as they were before the loss.

This month the articles that we share with you are both written by mothers who are brave enough to share what moving forward looks like for them after the death of a child.  We hope that regardless of your loss, their stories will help you feel understood as you also move forward.

Does It Ever Get Easier?


by Angela Miller

A question I’m frequently asked by bereaved parents is “Does it ever get easier?”

The fear in their eyes is palpable. I know. I get it. The answer to that question still scares me too because I’ve been waiting for “easier” for almost seven years straight. And it wasn’t long ago I was asking this very same question to bereaved parents who were further down the road of grief than I was.

I’m not sure when I stopped asking it– probably when I realized it might not ever happen.

Straddling heaven and earth isn’t something that I would describe as easy.

Easier is a tricky word when it comes to something as permanently horrific as child loss. I like to reserve the word easier for things like learning a new skill over time. Easier is a nice little word for things that can actually be measured. It’s also a lovely little word for things that aren’t irretrievably lost and permanently missing. Forever and ever.

I’m certain the “progress” of moving through the uncharted waters of grief after the loss of a child is immeasurable. It’s one step forward, four steps back. It’s treading water, with your head slightly above, until you’re not. It’s swimming along, then drowning without notice.

It’s not linear.

I will repeat: there is nothing linear about grief. Whether in a day, a year, or a lifetime– grief is not linear.

Even still, seven years later, I think I’m sailing along ok, then all of a sudden– SMACK– out of nowhere grief beats the crap out of me. Sometimes it will come in the form of a strategically placed gorgeous nine year old, blue-eyed little boy who should be my living breathing oldest son, but who obviously belongs to another mother who is calling after him; sometimes it comes from the missing puzzle piece of my heart the size and shape of my son that starts oozing uncontrollably without warning, and tears leak out of my eyes without asking me first. Sometimes it’s the simple, almost-perfect moments with my 2/3rds children, that smack me upside the head and rob my lungs of proper breath.
 
Breathe, I gasp. BREATHE.   Read More...

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You are the Mother of All Mothers

by Angela Miller

There are few books that address the weight of guilt and shame that a grieving mother carries with her after the loss of her child. The deep feeling of failure that accompanies child loss can be heart, mind and soul crippling. Reengaging in life after loss and attempting to find a sliver of hope again is an on-going battle-- one no bereaved mother should travel alone. No matter the age or cause of death, no matter the story, this book is for you, sweet mama. It's the book you can reach for in the middle of the night, when you feel like no one understands your pain. It's the book you can carry with you anywhere and everywhere, to give you a lift of hope, a sliver of light in the darkness.   Shop Here...

What really was a solution


by Julie Freitas

What really was a solution was talking to other bereaved parents. Reading books by people whose children had died. Stopping the drugs that dulled my mind and my soul. Forcing myself with the small amount of energy I had, to do one thing I didn’t feel like doing every day, even if that was just to get up out of bed. To look at seeing the sunrise as a great accomplishment. To allow my friends to carry hope for me until I could find it for myself.

And hope I have now. Joy has become a constant companion. I can smile when I look at his pictures, and think of the way he lived and not the way he died. I did not move to another home, I did not change jobs. I no longer withdraw from people who love me out of fear that I will confront agonizing pain again.

My life has evolved to a new normal, where I share my expectations and hope with others. I speak freely about my challenges and triumphs concerning my life after the death of my child. I attempt to be present in the moment as I travel through my busy days. No longer am I plagued with anxiety and fear that my other children will be dead too, when, as young adults, they do not call for a week.   Read More...
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Letters to My Unborn Children

Takes the reader from the grief and uncertainty of miscarriage through what ultimately becomes a beautiful journey of acceptance. Collins shares the prayers, writings, and music that formed this journey.   Shop Here...


An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

If you have ever experienced loss or love someone who has, the company of this remarkable book will help you go on. With humor and warmth and unfailing generosity, McCracken considers the nature of love and grief following a miscarriage.   Shop Here...


Naming the Child

For those who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a child within the first year, this gentle resource offers: stories of hope and wisdom, practical advice and guidance based on the experience of many, comfort and ways to honor and remember. Shop Here...

Ronan

by Taylor Swift

I remember your bare feet down the hallway
I remember your little laugh
Race cars on the kitchen floor, plastic dinosaurs
I love you to the moon and back

I remember your blue eyes looking into mine
Like we had our own secret club
I remember you dancing before bed time
Then jumping on me, waking me up

I can still feel you hold my hand, little man
And even the moment I knew
You fought it hard like an army guy
Remember I leaned in and whispered to you

Come on baby with me, we're gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

I remember the drive home
When the blind hope turned to crying and screaming "Why?"
Flowers pile up in the worst way, no one knows what to say
About a beautiful boy who died

Read More...

Feeling Heart Necklaces


Our popular Feeling Hearts are now available as necklaces, allowing you to put your heart on display for others to see. Each heart is handmade, and no two are exactly the same.  The silk cord hangs approximately 12'.  The ceramic heart is approximately 1.25 x 1.5 inches.   Shop Here...

Remembering Hearts

Two beautiful handcrafted ceramic hearts in one. When separated, the tiny inner heart can be placed with the loved one who has died as a reminder of their unbroken connection to those who remain behind. They can also be tied together to form a necklace of love around the loved one. The outer heart is kept by the bereaved and can be worn on a necklace, acknowledging their grief.   Shop Here...

Quote of the Month

Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.   Jamie Anderson 

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MISSION: The Grief Watch mission is to offer spiritual, emotional and other support to persons who are grieving and the professional caregivers who assist them.  For more information about us please visit our info page.

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